The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Hotel Linen

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Hotel Linen

Let’s be honest; the first thing you think about when walking into a hotel room is the bed and the linen. We’d all be lying if we said we didn’t look forward to sinking into the crisp sheets and thick, soft pillows on a hotel bed after a long day, whether you’ve been attending business meetings or simply exploring. There’s something quite special about staying in a big, luxurious hotel bed - but only if the bedding is right. Thin, scratchy sheets are the difference between a restful night or an uncomfortable sleep.

The first thing your guests will notice when entering your hotel rooms is the linen. From the crisp white sheets to the quality of the pillowcases, it’s absolutely essential that you get the linen just right. Below, we’ve put together a guide to choosing the perfect linen for your hotel to ensure your guests have the best night’s sleep possible.

Understanding thread count

Firstly, let’s take a look at thread count. Thread count is the best and easiest way to determine the quality of a material; the higher the thread count, the more luxurious the cotton. Thread count is how many threads are woven into the sheet lengthways and breadthways per square inch:

  • 120-170: Affordable and basic; these are thin and mainly used in hospitals.
  • 200: Ideal for budget hotels, these sheets are light cotton and suitable for summer months.
  • 400: Used by most hotel chains, these sheets are extremely popular as they are durable and remain cool.
  • 600: Soft, smooth and lustrous, and considered to be high quality.
  • 800-1000: The most luxurious of all, these sheets provide pure indulgence.

Choosing the right fabric

In addition to thread counts, it’s also important that you choose the right material. There are lots of different fabrics to choose from and choosing the right one will make all the difference. The fabric you choose does depend on personal preference and the feel you want to achieve in your hotel. Cotton and polycotton are the top two choices in hotels:


Cotton is generally the most popular fabric used for sheets and bed linen. As far as hotel linen goes, cotton is perfect: it’s soft, breathable, durable and affordable. Cotton is also very easy to care for and holds its whiteness after multiple washes - something that is very important in hotels, where sheets need to be washed almost every single day.

Cotton is suitable for almost any climate as it traps heat in the winter and allows cool air to pass through in summer, keeping your hotel guests both warm and cool at different times of the year. This means cotton sheets can be used all year round, saving you money. If you’d like to alter the way your linen feels or how much it weighs, it can be blended with rayon and other materials.


Polycotton is a blend of durable polyester and cotton. While polycotton linen is often said to have a rougher feel compared to cotton (because the fabric contains a man made synthetic fibre - polyester), many linen companies use a combing process which removes unwanted fibres from the cloth to combat this. Polyester mixed with luxurious cotton makes it more soft to touch.

Polycotton is easy to care for and extremely durable; it can withstand the rigours of repeated washing and drying, again making it a great option for hotel use. Polycotton is inexpensive and often the preferred choice for coloured bed sheets as the fabric holds the brightness of the colour well.

What is percale bed linen?

Percale is often confused as a type of fabric; however, it actually refers to a type of weave. The weave affects the way a sheet feels and how it looks, and is therefore very important when selecting the right hotel linen. Basic plain weaves are woven from an equal number of vertical and horizontal yarns. Percale is an upscale plain weave consisting of a simple criss-cross pattern, creating a soft yet durable fabric. As percale bed linen is tightly woven, it can withstand repeated washing and drying.

Percale linen is extremely popular in hotels. Authentic percale linen has a minimum of 180 threads per square inch, resulting in a soft and luxurious finish.

Colours and patterns

When it comes to bed linens, many hotels choose to use white linen. White is a timeless colour; it looks fresh, crisp and minimal in any room. You may also be surprised to learn that white is one of the easiest colours to maintain (yes, despite any spills and stains). White bedding is hugely versatile; it’s the perfect balance between masculine and feminine decor and looks stylish and classic.

When you have sets of white hotel linen, you only need to replace one item at a time as and when required, saving you money. With colours, achieving an exact match can be difficult as, naturally, different batches take on different shades. Therefore, to ensure all of your linens and towels are matching, you’ll likely have to replace entire sets when one piece needs to be replaced, which can be both expensive and wasteful.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to opt for white linen in your hotel. If you’d like a change from traditionally plain bed linen or you simply want to make a statement, there are plenty of coloured, patterned and textured designs to choose from. For example, geometric and floral prints can look modern and stylish in a hotel room when done right. Block colours can also look modern and stylish. Pastels shades and greys are versatile and on trend, and look especially good when matched with other features in the room, such as curtains or rugs.

Why use a professional linen hire company?

Once you’ve got your head around thread counts, fabrics and colours, it’s time to find a reliable linen hire company. Using a linen hire company can make a huge difference to the operation of your hotel. When you use a linen hire service, you can rest assured that all of your linen - from bedding and towels to linen napkins and tablecloths - comes freshly laundered. This means you don’t have to worry about taking up the time of your in-house staff to keep on top of laundry and carry out laundry tasks.

Each piece of linen will be clean, soft, smooth and thoroughly checked before it arrives to you, ensuring it’s ready to go straight onto beds. Not only does this save you time, but it also guarantees your guests will have the best sheets possible.

Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services: the leading commercial laundry service and table linen company

If you’re looking for reliable commercial and industrial laundry services for your hotel, you needn’t look further than Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services. With over 40 years of experience providing linen for hire, we’re proud to offer an exceptional quality of service, reliability and a flexible method of working which ensures our customers are not tied into long term contracts.

We understand just how important it is to ensure your guests are not disappointed when they check into your hotel. Providing the very best hotel laundry for your guests is essential for the quality of their stay. All of our hotel bed linen goes through rigorous quality control to ensure our customers receive only the best quality linen.

Our linen for hire is premium quality and perfect for luxury hotels that would like to provide their guests with a high-end experience that they won’t forget. 

Posted: June Hotel LinenLinen Hirebed linen